The Go! Team
Don't get me wrong. I tried to fit my
rating for this album within the constraints ordained by a cadre of musical
critics before me, but The Go! Team doesn't bow to convention, and so nor shall I.
To do otherwise would be a crime on par with the sum of all crimes ever
committed in the history of the world, and that's including downloading movies
Besides, every time I try to develop a more modest opinion about
this album, The Go! Team just provides me with one more reason to gush. In fact,
I can think of, oh, let's say eight reasons (one for each rating point) why this
album is at least 60% better than mere five-star albums like Pet
Sounds, Kind of
Blue, or The
1. Power. As one of the first singles to
this album attests, "The Power Is [indeed] On." The amps are up high and the
girls have their yelping voices in tow. But not in a
let's-try-to-sound-like-a-grrrrrrl-garage-band kind of way. No, what The Go!
Team actually accomplishes with this setup is a feat that will no doubt surprise
even the most meticulous readers of this uncharacteristically descriptive
2. Unity. The members of The Go! Team are,
above all, a team. In fact, at times, they quite literally sound like a team
of cheerleaders calling out commands to the listener, generally to "rock" something
or other — "this break," "the microphone," or what have you. The genius
of it is that when we as listeners follow suit, for a brief moment, we become
part of the team too.
3. Timelessness. No description of this band's sound
is complete without mention of at least one band from each of the last four
decades, and, as I think time will tell, five from each of the next three.
(Beyond that, who knows if we'll even be listening to music anymore?) Most of
the tracks from this album would feel very comfortable in a Quentin Tarantino film.
4. Sentimentality. Equally dispersed
amongst the more party-ready tracks are a handful of glorious instrumental
numbers that pine nostalgic in a very Peanuts, Sesame Street or Midnight
Cowboy sort of way, but of course, never fail to kick out the grooves. If I
hadn't had my tear ducts welded shut as a child, I swear it would be enough to
make me cry.
5. Did anyone else see a pirate ship when they did that
blurry-eyed thing at the beginning of the review, or was that just me? Man,
that was weird. I think I need to take my Zyprexa.
No, I'm not just mentioning power again to bring up the score. The truth is,
there's so much power in this album that one mention of it just simply isn't
enough, and interestingly enough (but not ironically), the title Thunder,
Lightning, Strike turns out in this case to be an understatement.
Syrup, and lots of it. Imagine Mountain Dew without the caffeine or the
carbonation. Or a pancake without any dressings. There you have the current
state of the music scene. Let me put this another way: Comparing The Go! Team to
other bands is like comparing the paradise pancake combo at IHOP to a stenciled picture of a box of
generic pancake mix from an expired coupon for three cents off from Fred
8. Because I said so. If you do nothing else I
tell you this year, including the five other things I've told you to do if you
did nothing else, then buy
this album, please. I am in no way affiliated with this band or its members, but I feel like I
have grown so close to them through repeated listens and experiences shared with
this album, that I am personally responsible for the band's wellbeing. So
please, even if you don't like music. Even if you are deaf, or have to steal
money from a deaf person to afford it, please, buy
this album, for me, and for The Go! Team. Believe me, even more so than paying
the full inflated price for a movie, they're worth